Should I have a Wisconsin prenup?

Should I have a Wisconsin prenup?

Wisconsin prenup agreements allow spouses to avoid Wisconsin’s marital property rules.   Each spouse in Wisconsin owns one-half of all marital property.  However, what is considered “marital property” during a marriage is different at divorce.  The definition for divorce is far broader, even covering property titled to only one spouse, or property owned before the marriage.  If you wish to protect assets from equal division at divorce, you should have a Wisconsin prenup.

This is particularly true for spouses marrying late in life, or who received valuable gifts or inheritances.  A Wisconsin prenup also sets expectations for each spouse’s financial contributions during the marriage.  The agreement should be drafted far before the wedding. Both spouses should be aware of each other’s assets, and the effect on their rights.   A poorly-drafted Wisconsin prenup has a greater chance of being dismissed.   The standards to uphold a Wisconsin prenup are rather strict, so you should consult with an experienced lawyer to ensure proper drafting.

If you signed a Wisconsin prenup, and wish to challenge its validity, you must consult with an experienced family lawyer.   Legal challenges to prenups are extremely fact-driven.  I will work closely with you to understand your facts and argument early in the case.

The judge usually schedules the divorce trial involving a Wisconsin prenup in two stages.  The first stage is to decide if the prenup is valid.  Once that is decided, the actual divorce trial will be scheduled.  Therefore, it is important to prepare the facts and argument in prenup cases as early as possible.

I have tried several cases in Dane, Columbia, and Sauk counties involving a Wisconsin prenup. I have argued successfully to uphold or overturn these agreements, depending on the facts of each case.  I am happy to consult with spouses facing this issue.  I will also consult with you to draft a prenup prior to your marriage to ensure your assets are protected.

Published by David Kowalski

Attorney David Kowalski is the founding owner of Kowalski, Wilson & Vang, LLC, handling all family law cases from divorce, paternity, child custody, termination of parental rights, restraining orders, and guardianships.

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